April 16, 2010
Giorgio Vasari - Stories of the Italian Artists from Vasari
Published around 1550, Vasari wrote some of the first biographies of many famous Italian artists. This is the 1913 English translation by E. L. Seeley.
Vasari is an important resource because he knew some of the artists personally, and at least lived during the same era as many of the others. He is particularly proud of his friendship with Michelangelo.
Still, his writing smells hagiographic. He never met many of the artists and is content to tell legends about them that he heard second-hand. It is an important work for any student of Renaissance art, however, it must always be taken with a grain of salt and in light of contrary evidence.
I rate it 4 stars because of its historical significance and only 4 because he seems a bit star-struck.